Dean’s first collection on the streets…

Sometimes I'm So Happy I'm Not Safe On The Streets. Published by Wrecking Ball Press.

Dean Wilson’s first collection of poetry was going to be called Confessions of a Redundant Postman.  I do hope such trivia will turn up in a pub quiz one day – and not just in Hull but elsewhere, as Dean’s legend spreads far and wide and way beyond the city. As it is, the much more satisfyingly oddball Sometimes I’m So Happy I’m Not Safe On The Streets (taken from a line in the poet’s Away With The Fairies) is emblazoned on the cover, atop the body, as is Dean’s wont, of a hairy, tattooed man.

Those that have seen Dean perform have been eagerly awaiting this publication for a while (who wouldn’t want a piece of him?). Those that have neither seen him, nor heard of him, better brace themselves. The 62 pages of Sometimes I’m So Happy I’m Not Safe On The Streets’ are packed with an onslaught of absolute gems. Some of the poems within may shock the faint of heart, and other readers may not be ready for Bare Hands, Peer of the Realm and other honest slices of Dean’s life. But Dean’s world and body of work are to be embraced, should be embraced and will be embraced.

These 51 pieces of literary genius will make you laugh, cry, take deep breaths and doubt their veracity. But these are very real poems from a very unique voice. And, even though you may never have heard his nervy vocal stylings, nor laughed at his on-off moustache, or marveled at his recollections of what happened on his way to the Whalebone public house, you will be left with an absolute sense of the man. At his best, which is often, Dean simultaneously moves and induces hilarity.  Sometimes I’m So Happy… is the totally accessible, highly entertaining, utterly superb collection of a superstar.

One day, and one day soon methinks, the world will know of How D’Ya Like Your Eggs in the Morning?, visitor numbers to Bridlington will have dramatically declined thanks to Day Out and Never Stand On A Deckchair will be recited daily by every child on the planet. Every child on the planet.

When I picked up my copy of Sometimes I’m So Happy…  from the offices of publishers Wrecking Ball Press, the exchange was accompanied by the comment “all the hits are in there.” Which they are. Wondering what your life’s been missing? Get yourself a copy right now (an absolute snip at a tenner).

Read five poems by Dean Wilson on the Morning Star’s website.

 

Lit fest…

Humber Mouth Brochure

As Heads Up Festival closes, my brain shifts gear. No, I’m not about to go on a bender. Nah, I’m looking ahead to Humber Mouth, Hull’s literature festival. Y’know, the one with the best name of all the literature festivals. The one that doesn’t resort to a programme full of authors and poets on endless lit-fest publicity tours. Thank an almighty deity that I don’t believe in that the Humber Mouth exists. And, thanks to the almighty bald bloke who looks like Buddha that is its director, and his colleagues at the city council, that I’m involved with it again this year.

While the entire programme looks like a large, salivary, literary meal upon which to feast, I’d have to single out the events that I’m about to read a load of books in advance of as my highlights. Because, after all, this is my blog and this is all a huge vanity project designed to make you all look at me, me, me. I jest, of course. I am just excited.

Humber Mouth Books

But excited why, Dave, you ask? I get to talk to Phil Redmond at the festival opener on November 3. Phil’s just had his first novel in a new crime series – Highbridge – published and he’ll be reading from that while I sit wondering how I’m going to ask him questions about Jackie and Zammo, Tucker and Trisha.

On November 8, my inner Captain James T Kirk will come out as I slip into warp drive and chat with Marcus Berkmann, whose Set Phasers To Stun is a one-stop shop for all things Star Trek related, and the publication of which celebrates the 50th anniversary of this iconic sci-fi series, still boldly going where no franchise has gone before thanks to the original film series, The Next Generation, spin-offs and the current reboot films.

The following night (November 9) it’s time to chat to Sylvia Patterson, author of the memoir I’m Not With The Band. If being involved with Humber Mouth is about racking up degrees of separation from pop and rock stars, by the end of this night I’ll be linked to Beyonce, Eminem, Prince (I’m already connected to Madonna, cos I once had a nice conversation with Bedtime Story video director Mark Romanek) and, ahem, Westlife. Somehow, Sylvia has got through three decades of encounters with the music industry’s most demented, flakiest, drug-addled sorts and come out of the other end intact. And I’ll be asking her how, before getting two nights off.

On November 12, refreshed after taking in Akala and his Hip Hop Shakespeare Company and a couple of other events as an audience member, my Humber Mouth stint as gobshite with a microphone ends with a conversation with Laura Barnett, whose debut novel The Versions of Us spent 10 weeks in The Sunday Times hardcover bestseller list, went straight to number one in The Sunday Times paperback fiction bestseller list, with translation rights sold in 26 other countries, and TV rights optioned. Still writing the questions, but I’ll probably ask Laura stuff like, “what’s your favourite colour?”, and so on.

Naturally, I’m really thrilled and delighted about the above events. But there is much more going on at the festival and you should endeavour to attend as much as you can this year, because it will be impossible to get tickets come 2017 when all the tourists descend on Hull. In fact, they’re probably all revving up to try it out this year too, so get in there while you can and buy, buy, buy (or just book, some of it’s free) from www.humbermouth.com

Heads Up Festival, October

headsupposter1headsupposter2

So, what’s a boy like me do around this time of year?

Well, it would appear these days I’m involved with Heads Up Festival, now in its seventh (how?!) season and normally running from early September. But no more, we’ve nudged it back to that time of year when conkers drop from trees, nights start pulling in and the smell of candy floss mixes with diesel odours.

In an arrogant move, we’ve pitched our festival up at the same time as Hull Fair. We can only dream of such heady numbers as will be ambling slowly and Bob Carver’s chip-grease laden up and down Walton Street and we’re hoping the travel chaos that ensues will not have an impact on the free movement of Heads Up audiences. But you never know. It might be an experiment too far.

Anyway, as ever from the festival that brought Christopher Brett Bailey, Made in China, Jo Hellier, Will Dickie, Sean Mahoney, Victoria Melody, Bucket Club, Theatre Ad Infinitum and all manner of contemporary theatrical greatness to the city, a stellar programme awaits those that do head to venues that include Kardomah 94, Hull Truck, Artlink, and the Club House Community Centre on Garden Village.

This season, Conrad Murray’s beatbox hip hop infused Denmarked, Lung’s The 56, Rhiannon Armstrong’s International Archive of Things Left Unsaid, Can I Help You? and a fascinating workshop about making art out of the everyday, Bellow Theatre, She Productions and a whole lot more.

My head is, quite brilliantly, all over the shop with all of this, and other work commitments. But it’ll be well worth it. It would be lovely to see you in the audience and, if you can buy tickets in advance so we know where we are, please do. Info, including downloadable programme, at www.headsuphull.co.uk and tickets from eventbrite here.

Please come, or I’ll have too much time on my hands in future Octobers.